For the first time this season, Houston Rockets point guard Russell Westbrook will make his highly anticipated return to the Chesapeake Energy Arena on Thursday as his team takes on his former mates from the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Los Angeles Clippers star Paul George, who was teammates with Westbrook in OKC from 2017-19, recently chimed in about the magnitude of Westbrook’s return to the city he spent 11 seasons playing for. Per Ben Golliver:
“Russell means way more than I did in Oklahoma, and I got a standing ovation. I expect nonstop cheering. Nonstop appreciation. I’m guessing the cheering will be off the radar, as if it isn’t Loud City already,” he said.
George, who blindsided Thunder management by requesting for a trade in the offseason, still received a warm welcome when he made his return to Chesapeake on December 23. He scored 18 points 32 minutes in the Clippers 112-118 loss.
Russell Westbrook, on the other hand, blossomed into a superstar in Oklahoma and is considered to be one of the best players to ever don the franchise’s colors. His greatest individual accomplishments was achieved during his days with the Thunder, winning league MVP in 2017 and being selected to the All-Star Game eight times.
Russ still holds several franchise records and amassed more than 18,000 points, 5,700 rebounds, 6,800 assists during his tenure in Oklahoma. He reunited with another former Thunder player in James Harden in Houston over the summer after failing to lead OKC back to the Finals in recent years.
Now playing second fiddle to Harden, Westbrook’s numbers have taken a dip from last year, notching 24.1 points, 7.9 rebounds, 7.0 assists. His efficiency from the field has also dropped at an alarming rate, shooting 42.6 percent from the field and just 23.5 percent from three.